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tv   U.S. Senate Sens. Cassidy Reed Thune Pay Tribute to John Mc Cain  CSPAN  August 28, 2018 8:22pm-8:40pm EDT

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shadow of a four-star father and grandfather. you did not disappoint. children, thank you for making me part of the clan. , you taught me what loyalty is all about. to my colleagues, thank you for your kindness. player -- yield the floor. the senator from louisiana. >> i rise to speak about john mccain. as one of those rising to pay tribute, i'm one of the least qualified to do so. because it was only we werelast four years, not on any common committees.
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let me say why i am qualified. that brief. firsthand that which of 2014 when ik was running for the first time. john mccain came to campaign on my behalf. it was remarkable to see how veterans responded to him. a schedule that is legendary for john mccain. louisiana, andin lafayette, drove up the length of the state and then came back to new orleans in one day. others would've been tired. he was energized. he taught me about social media. folks would wish to have their picture taken and he would take a selfie and say, posted on facebook.
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way, his contact with went to everybody who those folks were reaching out to through facebook. even that is not the story of which i wish to tell. had this incredibly intense schedule, meeting one person after another. as we were walking out, a fellow handed john mccain and out. he said, this is from a fellow vietnam veteran. he cannot come. he would love to hear from you. handed john mccain and out. here's his phone number. we get in the car and john mccain picks up his phone and calls. he says, this is john mccain. i'm sorry your under the weather. tell me about it. he spoke to the man. as one vietnam veteran to another, reaching through that
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wire, taking that man no that he was deeply cared for and honored for his service to our country. his sacrifice for our country. that tells me a measure of john mccain. this incredibly intense schedule, finding that moment to reach out to an individual to him know how-- let much he was valued as an american. irise to speak briefly and started by saying i am among the least qualified. of my briefuse interaction in the quality of the interaction and the intensity of how john mccain presented himself, not just to me or his fellow americans but to all the voters in louisiana, i might be the best qualified. glimpse, you see that which may john mccain a great american. the time,t all, all
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for everybody who lives in this country, to represent his country as best as possible to the rest of the world. doing a service to not just a country but the rest of the world. i yield the floor. >> senator from our island -- rhode island. >> i rise today to honor john mccain. i want to begin by offering by deepest -- sympathy to his wife and children, in the most remarkable woman who shipped his life, his mother. loving father, devoted husband, and dedicated family man. we mourn with the entire mccain family. i would like to take a few moments to reflect on his heroic legacy.
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when i think of john mccain, two words come to mind. courage and sacrifice. as the grandson of naval officers, the desire to serve his country ran deep in john. he graduated from the naval academy and went to serve his country in vietnam. the events that followed including his bravery facing unrelated antiaircraft file -- fire, being held in horrific conditions, have become military legend. his beria -- his willingness to sacrifice for his fellow citizens should be testament to all of his courage and sacrifice. as everyone knows well, john into word grueling hardships throughout his activity. explained that courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity to act despite our fear. made one of the most
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difficult decisions of his life. he was offered special treatment and release due to his family's military prominence that he refused. he would not accept release until all the prisoners of war taken before him were also released. welfare,s own especially when confronted with uncertainty and abuse, is the most profound example of his willingness to sacrifice his life for others. he spent more than five years in captivity. rather than allowing the horrors he experienced to continue to onto his life, he returned to the navy before beginning a career in business. he won a seat in the house of representatives for arizona. the first indication that senator mccain would be announced voted leaker -- an
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outspoken leader came when he opposed legislation supported by president reagan to keep marines in lebanon. he refused to further endanger service members for an objective he viewed as unattainable. forook political courage john to stand up for a man he calls one of his heroes. this willing to stand by his convictions would become a hallmark of senator john mccain. first in the house and then in the senate. and then on the presidential campaign trail. john was renowned for the candid expression of his thoughts and steadfast defense of his principles. while john and i served for many years together in the senate, i was fortunate to work most closely with him during the past four years when he was chairman of the armed services committee and i was a ranking member.
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our hearing could be rocky at times -- pairing could be rocky at times. okjohn often joked, i did for someone who did not have a college education. thank you, john. in all seriousness, senator mccain's leadership was vital in numerous authorization acts that have substantially improved care for service members and increased the capacity of our military to meet the myriad national security challenges we face. steady force in turbulent times in global afarmers the threats to our national security and the stability of the global order are more numerous and diverse now than way any point in our recent history. we should remain john's guidance that we live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. we are the custodians of those
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ideals, at home and their champion abroad. he believed in an america that is united by its values, not divided by manufactured distrust and animus. most importantly, he emphasized a moral obstacles that we as americans carry to provide leadership in the world and serve as the beacon of hope, opportunity, and justice -- both here and across the globe. as a further reflection, i was always impressed by john's respect for colleagues who were committed to principle but who sought principled compromise. this respect animated our relationship and made it possible to find common ground. finally, what ultimately motivated john mccain, i believe, was the knowledge that thousands and thousands of americans in uniform were protecting this nation. he understood that we owed these men and women and their families more than we could ever really pay. he always kept faith with these valiant americans and inspired all of us here to keep that
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faith. as our sailors, soldiers, marines, and airmen guarded our country and constitution, he guarded them with a special and profound love. i will miss senator mccain's partnership and friendship, and this chamber will be hard-pressed to find a more respected voice of reason and bipartisanship. it is my hope that we can follow in the footsteps of the virtues that senator john mccain exemplified -- courage, sacrifice, compassion, determination, and above all else an unyielding patriotism that motivated a lifetime of service. we can best honor senator mccain by living our lives by the example he set. mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: the senate is not in a quorum call, are we? the presiding officer: the senate is not in a quorum call.
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mr. thune: mr. president, in the wake of senator john mccain's passing, i was particularly moved by the announcement that in accordance with his wishes he'll be buried in the cemetery at the u.s. naval academy. it is a fitting resting place for someone whoing belonged in - who belonged to the united states navy and characteristic of him that in death he wished to rest with his comrades at arms. it was during his service at the navy that lieutenant mccain's plane was shot down over north vietnam. he was ejected and taken into captivity. during world war ii admiral chester nimitz noted that, and i quote, uncommon valor was a common virtue. end quote. the same can be said about the american soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in the prison camps of north vietnam. john mccain joined their number in october of 1967.
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during the years of his confinement he was regularly beaten and tortured. he survived thanks in part to the friendship of his fellow prisoners of war. in 1968, his captors offered the malnourished and ill mccain the chance to be returned home early, ahead of prisoners who were next in line. john mccain said no. he spent another almost five years in captivity before being released on march 14, 1973. it scarcely needs to be said, mr. president, that he remained a thorn in his captors' side the entire time. mr. president, living in perhaps the most privileged country in the world, it's hard for most of us to imagine going without the internet for a few months, let alone something more fundamental like electricity or indoor plumbing. the courage and character and sheer determination required to undergo regular torture, malnourishment and deplorable
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living conditions is almost impossible to fathom. and yet, hundreds of u.s. soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, john mccain among them, endured these torments and persevered. and amazingly it was in the prison camps of north vietnam that john mccain discovered the fierce love of country that would animate his life. years later he noted, and i quote, i fell in love with my country when i was a prisoner in someone else's. i loved it for its decency, faith and wisdom of its people. i loved it because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. i was never the same again. i wasn't my own man anymore. i was my country's. end quote. john mccain was his country's man, mr. president. throughout a congressional career that spanned 35 years, he served her faithfully. he inspired those who served
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with him on both sides of the aisle. and he always called on all of us to live up to all that is best and greatest about the united states of america. he was a fierce crusader for the causes close to his heart from supporting our nation's veterans to equipping our military with the tools that it needs to advancing liberty around the world. he was also a wonderful colleague and friend. shortly after i got to the senate, i read his book "faith of my fathers." and as i'm reading this book, i'm starting to think that some of the dates and places sound pretty familiar, so i did a little research and ended up discovering that the distinguished flying cross that my father harold thune received had been awarded to him by none other admiral john mccain, our john mccain's grandfather. when i shared this with john and every time i'd see him he'd say we've got to call your dad. that's exactly what we did one day.
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and i cherish that special connection, mr. president, with a family that has meant so much to our country and to freedom. mr. president, it was an honor to serve with john mccain. i will miss his sense of humor and the passion that he brought to every battle. i admired him greaterly. he reminded me and all of us every day that life is not about advancing ourselves but about serving a greater cause. and that paradoxically, it is in service that we find freedom. in his farewell message to his country men john said, and i quote, to be connected to america's causes, respect, liberty and justice and dignity for all people brings happiness more sublime than life's fleeting pleasures. our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enhrargd by serving good causes that are bigger than ourselves. end quote. mr. president, already the new class of midshipmen has overrun the grounds of the u.s. naval
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academy. and in the days and years and decades to come midshipmen will walk past john mccain's grave and the graves of other marines and sailors who have served our country. the graves will fade into the background of everyday life but they will still whisper always of the courage and sacrifice of those who have gone before. and later at that time of their testing some of those midshipmen may remember the graves of those heroes and resolve to be like them, to be like john mccain. mr. president, when discussing how he would like to be remembered, john mccain said, and i quote, i want when i leave that the ceremony is at the naval academy and we just have a couple of people that stand up and say this guy, he served our country. this guy, he served his country. mr. president, i think that he can be assured that there will be more than a few people saying that come sunday. there can be few finer epitaphs.
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mr. president, i yield the floor. up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator for wyoming. mr. barrasso: mr. president, i come to the floor today to add my voice to the am around the -- to the many around the world who are remembering our dear friend and colleague john mccain. john mccain was a man of the highest character, courage, and credibility. known for his stubborn courage and his heroic patriotism. he leaves a legacy of devotion and love for his country and his family when i first came to the senate, mr. president, john was very welcoming. he knew i had been an orthopedic surgeon and told me to


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